Voting is an important civic duty, and everyone deserves the right, even if it means officials have to set up a special polling station for one man in the remote forest.
A team of election officials in Gujarat, India literally went the extra mile (almost 45 miles through the jungle, in fact) to set up a polling station for one 69-year-old holy man, Bharatdas Darshandas. Bharatdas has lived alone in the remote forests of the Gir wildlife sanctuary for two decades.
Gujarat:A polling booth in Gir Forest has been set up for 1 voter in Junagadh.Voter Bharatdas Bapu says,“Govt spends money for this polling booth for 1 vote.I've voted&it's 100% voter turnout here.For 100% voter turnout everywhere,I request all to go&vote.” #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/N0xYNKSK0S
— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2019
Bharatdas looks over the Shiva Temple at the sanctuary, which is home to 600 Asiatic lions – a large percentage of the remaining population.
Despite his living situation, Bharatdas hasn’t missed a single election since 2002. In the past, he had to walk almost a kilometer to get to a polling station, The Express Tribune reports.
But thanks to the new polling station that election officials set up for Bharatdas, he won’t have to travel to vote anymore. They can count on at least one region to have a 100% voter turnout!
Inclusive elections : Mahant Bharatdas, priest of a temple in Banej, cast his vote. The centre in jungle is famed nationally as the Mahant is the sole voter here for whom #ECI sets up the booth. #LokSabhaElections2019 #ElectionsWithTimes #Voting pic.twitter.com/KxKl2jOVuf
— TOI Ahmedabad (@TOIAhmedabad) April 23, 2019
“The fact that the government is taking so much effort to ensure the casting of one vote speaks to the importance of each and every vote,” Bharatdas told reporters.
“Just the way voting is 100 percent in Banej, there should be 100 percent voting everywhere.”
The general election in India began on April 11 and will end on May 19, 2019.